Actress Amber Heard told jurors Wednesday how difficult it has been for her to relive her turbulent marriage to Johnny Depp as part of her ex-husband’s trial of a defamation lawsuit against her.
“I find it hard to find the words to describe how painful it is,” he said at the beginning of his testimony. “It’s horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything.”
Heard’s testimony comes after a psychologist, hired by the actress’s lawyers, declared that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to multiple acts of abuse that Depp allegedly inflicted on her, including sexual violence.
Depp sued Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she published an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article never mentions Depp by name, but Depp’s lawyers argue that he was defamed because he was clearly referring to allegations Heard made in 2016 during her divorce proceedings.
The testimony of Johnny Depp in the trial against Amber Heard
Depp testified for four days prior to the trial, in which he testified that he never hit Heard and that he was actually the victim of abuse. He stated that he was hit by her on multiple occasions and that she was throwing things at him. The actor described Heard as someone with “a need for conflict.”
Psychologist Dawn Hughes on Tuesday acknowledged in her testimony that Heard at times perpetrated physical violence against Depp but said this was little compared to the violence she suffered, which left her intimidated and fearful for her safety.
During questioning Wednesday, Hughes acknowledged that he was not determining whether Depp did in fact attack Heard on specific occasions. But he testified that Heard’s version of his experiences coincides with those of those who have suffered domestic abuse.
Hughes testified that the sexual abuse included Depp forcing Heard to perform oral sex on him. However, in questioning her, Depp’s lawyers noted that Heard denied being forced to perform oral sex on him in a psychological test conducted as part of Hughes’ evaluation.
Hughes said Heard initially referred to those encounters as consensual, but at the same time “angry sex.”
“He didn’t define them as the use of physical force,” Hughes said.
The trial, in its fourth week, remains at the center of public attention. More than 100 people lined up Wednesday before 7 am — three hours before the day’s session began — outside the courthouse to fill one of the 100 available seats. Most are fans and supporters of Depp.